Winds push California fire to 13,000-plus acres

September 6, 2011 - 10:50 AM
California Wildfires

A DC-10 airplane drops gallons of retardant to help put out the wildfire in Tehachapi, Calif. on Monday, Sept. 5, 2011. Officials now say the wildfire burning near Tehachapi in Kern County has destroyed a dozen homes and doubled in size. The fire was sparked Sunday when a single-engine Cessna plane crashed. Ground crews are working to clear a fire break between the fire and the trailer, ranch and vacation homes in communities south of Tehachapi, a city of 8,000 south of Bakersfield. (AP Photo/Dave Mills)

TEHACHAPI, Calif. (AP) — California firefighters say erratic overnight winds caused a Kern County fire to grow to 20 square miles that's threatening 650 homes and a windmill farm.

Daniel Berlant of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection says Tuesday the winds had died down and crews are aggressively attacking the blaze.

Berlant says the fire south of Bakersfield has destroyed 12 homes and 15 outbuildings. It is about 10 percent contained.

It was started by a plane crash that killed at least two people.

Berlant says winds that make the area an ideal location for a windmill farm stoked the flames overnight.

He says another hot day with low humidity and winds is expected.

Meanwhile, a fire in Aqua Dulce in Los Angeles County was 70 percent contained.